Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Science and Technology

MEXT has been informed the US Crew Dragon spacecraft’s first mission carrying Japanese astronaut Noguchi Soichi took off at 9:27 AM on November 16, Japan Standard Time (JST), launching from the US Kennedy Space Center, and has safely entered the International Space Station (ISS) at past 3 PM on November 17. MEXT is delighted at the start of Noguchi’s long-duration mission.
Noguchi will stay aboard the ISS for a long-duration mission of around six months. He is expected to carry out combustion experiments on the assumption of manned stays at the ISS in the future, and various life science experiments involving iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, including creating three-dimensional organs.
Japan has been acquiring, accumulating and expanding the use of various technologies aboard the ISS. Based on taking part in the Artemis program, Japan will utilize the ISS to demonstrate technologies that are necessary for international space exploration to advance deep space exploration.
As the people’s interest towards space grows, Japan is scheduled to recruit astronauts from autumn in 2021. Amid such backdrop, we hope astronaut Noguchi will take on many challenges through his mission on board the ISS, and disseminate the significance of his work in a way that is clearly visible by Japan and the global community. We have high hopes that Noguchi’s mission will contribute towards advancing the future of Japan’s space development.
MEXT prays the safe return of Noguchi and others aboard the ISS after their six -month mission.

November 17, 2020
MEXT Minister, Hagiuda Koichi

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